What Is an NFC tag?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It's the same sort of tech used for many card entry systems at buildings. Does your phone support Apple Pay or Google Pay? Then you've got it!

The NFC tag/light combo above brings up a URL. The light blinks then will go steady when the tag is read.

So, what sort of information can you embed on a tag? All sorts of cool things. A URL. Your social media page. A link to an image, file, or location on a map.  Your contact information for someone to save to their phone. Your "In Case of Emergency" info. 

People are using NFC tags on pet collars to hold owner contact information. The pet may be chipped, but reading it requires a trip to the vet. A compatible phone can read the data and perhaps reunite the pet with the owner a bit sooner. (This does not replace a chip, though as collars can be torn off.)

Now that you know what a tag is, you'll want to know if your phone supports it and how to program it. Please go to the tutorial for all that goodness!

Filed under: Blog   Tutorials         
5/24/2019 4:39:00 PM


New items are available in all of the galleries. Check 'em out!
Filed under: Blog            
3/2/2019 2:04:00 PM

Looking Forward to 2019!

It's been a rough couple of years for me personally, but things have finally settled down, and I'm looking forward to all the things I can do next year!

My first con will be ConDFW, February 15-17. This is ConDFW's final year, so please show up and help them go out with a bang! I'll be on programming and will have a table with some mew merchandise.

Speaking of new merchandise, I've spent the last part of the year planning new items I can sell. The first new items will be laser engraved shot glasses! I'm sourcing geeky designs and sayings for them. Follow Steam Cat on Facebook for more information.

I have added one new programming item to the Bookings page as well. If you would like me to attend your convention, please drop me a line. I'm also looking for places and shows in Texas where I can sell, even if I'm not on programming. If you would like to see Steam Cat a con near you, please send me some details so I can see about getting a table.

I'll leave you with our family Catmas card. That's Midnight, the cat in the logo. She's now eighteen, and still plows through the cat treats, which was the inspiration for this year's card.

Happy 2019!


Filed under: Blog            
12/31/2018 3:34:00 PM

Thank You, SoonerCon!

I had a brain freeze and totally forgot to put my SoonerCon schedule on the site. Sorry about that.

Nevertheless, we had a great turnout at the prop and costume lighting presentation. I'm working on a follow-up post with all of the resources for the items we showed. For now, you can start on the Resources page, which is a generalized list. I'll get more specific in the next list, and will be updating it as needed. (Update 7/1/2018: There is now an entry on the Resources page specific to this panel.)

Thank you again to SoonerCon for having us back, and thank you all for being such a great audience. You had some very good questions, and I hope we answered them to your satisfaction.

Is there anything you would like to see in future presentations? Drop me a line at info - at - SteamCat - dot -net.

Filed under: Blog            
6/26/2018 10:34:00 AM

Steam Cat at ConDFW

Steam Cat will be at ConDFW THIS weekend! I'll have some new items and a few old favorites.

Also, I'll be doing a workshop on blocking buckram at 11 AM on Saturday. If' you're planning to attend, please mark "Going" on the Facebook invitation page. I want to ensure I have enough supplies. I'll be bringing everything, but you need to supply your own Styrofoam wig head. Why? You'll be taking that back home with freshly-blocked buckram along with instructions on how to complete your project. And yes, I'll even supply a plastic bag for you to put it in, because the buckram will still be damp.

Here's my schedule for the weekend:

Friday, 4 PM Programming 3: History in a Nutshell: How to Pick Change Points

Friday, 6 PM, programming 4: Why Authors Should Publish Audiobooks

Saturday, 11 AM, Programming 4: How to Block Your Own Buckram

Saturday, 5 PM, Programming 4: Fandom Pictionary

Sunday, 2 PM Programming 2: The Elemental Steampunk: Gadgets and Gizmos

See you there!

Filed under: Blog            
2/13/2018 12:05:00 PM